Many Scots, and some Englishmen, never accepted George I and his descendants as the legitimate British monarchs. In 1715, 1719, and 1745 supporters of the exiled Stuart king, James II and VII and his son, James III and VIII, launched uprisings to reclaim the British throne from their Hanoverian enemies. The term “Jacobite” was derived from “Jacobus,” the Latin translation for “James.” In the final uprising, led by Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), Scottish rebels and their English allies won a series of stunning victories and marched with 100 miles of London before government forces compelled them to retreat. In early 1746, British forces crushed Prince Charlie and his army at Culloden Moor, just outside Inverness, thus ending the rebellion. Flora MacDonald of the Isle of Skye, shown here, helped Prince Charles evade capture after the defeat.
The failed Jacobite Uprisings had a number of consequences for Scots, Scotland, and the British Atlantic, including land confiscation, property damage, forced migration to America, and greater government control over social customs and political traditions. The cases included here offer insight into how some Scots navigated the rebellion’s legal aftermath, and how the state exerted greater authority over some Scottish areas. They highlight the difficulty of forging a British nation in the decades after political union.
|Alexander, Duke of Gordon, v. The Commissioners for Managing the Forfeited Estates annexed to the Crown||21 Dec 1771||Landlord and tenant, Clan Act||The Clan Act, as subsequently amended, enabled agents of the Crown to hold lands previously owned by participants in the 1715 rebellion. These agents, called "commissioners," could appoint new tenants to the lands. Superiors of the lands were forced to either sell their land to the Crown or accept new tenants selected by the commissioners. Petitioner, Alexander Duke of Gordon, was one such superior who had yet to sell his land in Clunie, Callart, and part of Lochiel. Alexander maintained that the commissioners of the Crown must pay an entry fine (approximately one year's rent) to hold his land. The commissioners of the Crown argued that they are not obligated to pay an entry fine. The Lords concluded that a superior was not entitled, upon an entry, to demand from the Crown's donatary, or trustee for the Crown's behalf, the composition of a year's rent.|
|Marquis of Lothian v. His Majesty's Advocate||1767||Crown, Superior and Vassal, Forfeiture||Pursuer William Henry Kerr, Marquis of Lothian, was the superior of lands in Linton Parish, including the estate of Henry Kerr of Graden. Kerr of Graden was convicted of treason for his role in the Jacobite rising, resulting in the forfeiture of his estate. The Marquis of Lothian claimed the estate pursuant to the Clan Act, which provided that certain forfeited lands would revert to the superior. His Majesty’s Advocate, James Montgomery, sought a delay to allow time for a potential settlement, while also raising procedural objections to the Marquis’s claim.|
|Solicitor of Tithes v. Governor and Company of Undertakers for raising Thames water in York-buildings||1776||Teinds||This case was about the right to teinds on lands that the York Building Company purchased from the Barons of Exchequer. The lands, as part of the estate of Southesk, had been forfeited to the Crown after their owner participated in the Jacobite rising of 1715. The York Building Company then purchased the estate from the public. In the 1770s, a dispute arose over teinds on a portion of the estate in the parish of Leuchar. According to the Solicitor of Tithes, the York Building Company only possessed these teinds by tacit relocation (i.e., by holding over on a lease), and was required to get a new lease; the Solicitor eventually brought an action for payment of tithes. The Company claimed a right to the teinds based on a 1744 disposition from the Barons of Exchequer. Additionally, it claimed to have purchased the lands in reliance on a rent-roll that did not include a deduction for teinds. The Solicitor argued that the teinds were never part of the forfeited estate, and therefore could not have been sold to the Company.|
|Messrs Pears and James v. Lord Stonefield's Interlocutor||1790||Documents available. Full description in progress.|